Tyleik Williams Ohio State Defensive Tackle

50 For 50: Tyleik Williams Faces Major Michigan Matchup

Welcome to our daily feature that I am calling “50 for 50” where I attempt to get us to Big Ten Media Days — which are 20 days away — with a daily sampling of what we can look forward to this upcoming college football season.

We will do this via the following categories: the 50 biggest individual matchups for the Buckeyes this season, the 50 most important college football games this season, 50 Buckeye things to look forward to this season, 50 national predictions, 50 Big Ten predictions, and 50 predictions involving the Buckeyes.

Previous: Day 30 |

Biggest Buckeye Matchups

Michigan G Josh Priebe vs. Ohio State DT Tyleik Williams

Ohio State defensive tackle Tyleik Williams led all Big Ten tackles last year with 10.0 tackles for loss. He is one of the most active defensive tackles in the conference and was just named a Walter Camp First-Team Preseason All-American. Williams is also 0-3 against Michigan. His matchup against the Wolverines this year will be more than personal. Wolverine guard Josh Priebe just transferred in from Northwestern, but he’s going to have to be prepared for the most motivated defensive line he’s ever encountered. As one of the best guards in the conference, Priebe isn’t a pushover. This matchup will be fun to watch every time it happens this season.

Most Important Games

Ohio State Buckeyes at Oregon Ducks, October 12

Ohio State at Oregon may be the biggest game of the college football season. The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten, but the loser may very well get a rematch in the conference title game. This could be the first of three matchups between these two teams this season. As for the October matchup, both defenses are going to be tested against two very good offenses. The crowd is going to be intense. Is it overstating things to say this is the biggest football game in Autzen Stadium history? The stadium capacity is 54,000 but the record attendance is 60,055 against Arizona State in 2011. That number will fall, provided the resale tickets that go unsold due to high prices are still counted as part of the attendance.

Things To Look Forward To

The next wave of Buckeye safeties.

While Buckeye fans are rightfully excited about watching starting safeties Lathan Ransom and Caleb Downs playing together this year, they’re also going to get a look at the next wave of Buckeye safeties. Ransom will finally head off to the NFL after this season, so there will be somebody new teaming with Downs in 2025. Sophomore Malik Hartford showed promise last year, and had Downs not transferred over, he would likely be the Buckeyes’ starting strong safety this year. Redshirt freshman Jayden Bonsu had a strong spring in place of Ransom a few months back. True freshman Jaylen McClain made plays all spring long. Can either of those freshmen do what Hartford did last year and get truly involved in the secondary?

National College Football Predictions

West Virginia QB Garrett Greene will post 4,000 yards of total offense.

There may not be a lot of people talking about West Virginia quarterback Garrett Greene right now but that will change more and more over the course of this season. Greene started to make some noise nationally as a running gunslinger last year, posting over 700 yards rushing and 2,400 yards passing. As a full-time starter this year for a second season, Greene’s playmaking is going to be put on total display. Oregon’s Dillon Gabriel may get all of the attention among 5-foot-11 quarterbacks, but Greene is going to steal some of his shine this year in what should be a season full of shootouts for the Mountaineers.

Big Ten Football Predictions

Washington QB Will Rogers will finish Top 3 in the Big Ten in passing yards.

Will Rogers was one of the top quarterbacks in the transfer portal this past offseason. At Mississippi State prior to head coach Mike Leach’s passing, Rogers was a prolific passer for the Bulldogs. His numbers dropped considerably last season, however, throwing for just 1,626 yards. Rogers will easily double that number this year at Washington and finish at or near the top in yards passing per game among Big Ten quarterbacks. He will likely be jockeying with Oregon quarterback Dillon Gabriel for conference passing supremacy.

Ohio State Football Predictions

Cody Simon will post over 100 tackles this season.

Only three Buckeyes over the past decade have posted 100 tackles in a season — Tommy Eichenberg in 2022 (120), Raekwon McMillan in 2016 and 2015 (102, 119), and Joshua Perry in 2015 and 2014 (105, 124). Fifth-year senior linebacker Cody Simon will join that group this year. I was tempted to predict that Simon will match his career tackle total of 147, but no Buckeyes has had that many tackles since Chris Spielman in 1987. Instead, a more realistic prediction would be that Simon doubles his production of 57 tackles from last year. The Ohio State coaches are very high on Cody Simon as the leader of the 2024 defense.

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